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  • Created on: 01-06-14 14:41

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Coronary heart disease is the blockage of one or more coronary arteries and is the most
common heart disease that would go on to initiate heart attacks. CHD is the result of deposition of
fatty substances in the wall of the coronary arteries; this deposition process is known as
Atherosclerosis is defined by the plaque building up along the inner walls of arteries of the
heart, this plaque build-up would go on to narrow the size of the lumen in arteries and reduce blood
flow to the heart muscle which may cause oxygen starvation. The restriction of blood supply to this
tissue reduces its ability to function and failure of the heart to pump blood around the body has
catastrophic consequences. Atherosclerosis is also responsible for stroke and gangrene of the leg
and feet and is therefore one of the major causes of death in Westernised society.
Stages of Atherosclerosis: 1. Endothelium becomes damaged by either means of high blood
pressure or smoking.
2. Damage causes an inflammatory response. White blood cells move into
the artery walls, their action repairs the damage and they will
encourage a growth of smooth muscle and is accompanied by an
accumulation of chemicals (cholesterol from low-density
lipoproteins) from the blood. The deposit which would also include
fibres, dead blood cells and platelets is called an Atheroma.
This build-up of atheromas occurs under the endothelium in the wall
and could go on to break through the lining of the artery. This
expose in blood to the underlying tissue will cause the blood to clot
(thrombose) at the site and sudden clot formation may then block
the artery resulting in a myocardial infarction.
3. Calcium salts and fibrous tissue build up at the site and form a hard
swelling, making the artery loose some of its elasticity and causing it
to narrow.
4. Plaque makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood around the body
and results in high blood pressure. Positive feedback results as the
increased blood pressure increases the chances that more plaques
will form.
There are three main symptoms that can be used to identify CHD. Since coronary heart
disease develops slowly over a period of many years, for many people breathlessness while
exercise could be the only symptom.
Angina: When the build-up of atheroma in the coronary artery start to restrict the flow of blood to
the heart discomfort will be felt by the patient. Anginas are typically brought on by
performing a physically exerting task or after a meal, an angina may occur with a change in
state of mind or by the weather as well. Anginas usually last a couple of minutes and then
fade away with rest
Discomfort by tightening of the upper chest.
Pain experienced around torso
Chocking sensation or breathlessness

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Heart Attack (myocardial Infarction): The prevention of blood flowing properly parts of the
heart causing injury to the heart muscle due to insufficient oxygen being received. Some
symptoms of a heart attack could be sudden or develop more slowly. A heart attack can be
identified mainly by severe pain in the centre of the chest which can be thought to the feeling
experienced during indigestion. Symptoms of a heart attack could go unnoticed and is called a
silent myocardial infarction.…read more

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There are different designs of the stent including some that are able to release drugs that
prevent the vessel from re-narrowing due to scar formation at the site of angioplasty.
The coronary bypass surgery involves an operation that would bypass the blocked arteries in
order to overcome the problems caused by the narrowing atheroma. A small piece of another blood
vessel is obtained from either the leg or chest and grafted between the aorta and the coronary
artery at a point beyond the blockage.…read more

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Risk Factor Reducing Risk Factor
High Serum Cholesterol Cholesterol deposit in The risks can be reduced by
(Hypercholesterolemia) atherosclerosis a process that adopting a healthy lifestyle
leads to progressive blockage that includes less LDL. It is
of blood vessels and results in advised along with this to avoid
coronary heart disease. High being overweight and the
levels of low-density intake of saturated fat along
lipoproteins (LDLs) circulating in with increasing levels of
the blood stream transporting activity.…read more

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Alcohol Alcohol consumption can cause Alcohol taken in moderation
damage to the heart and cause would reduce the risk of CHD,
irregular heartbeats. It binge drinking however would
contributes to obesity, high be harmful.
blood pressure, and
unfavourable lipid profiles
High levels of Salt Excess salt in the diet Reduce salt intake
decreases the water potential
of the blood, as a result more
water is held in the blood and
blood pressure increases.…read more


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